The Bare Soul - March 2, 2008
Passionate Pursuit

Song of Solomon 1:4a - Draw me after you and let us run together! The king has brought me into his chambers.

Running, just like anything else can become a chore. I feel like I have some advantage over many of my shod counterparts in that my barefoot running allows me to feel more like a kid and be literally "foot loose and fancy free". However, just like anything we do on a daily basis, even something I enjoy so much can become tedious if I allow it. Truly, I am and always will be the one that controls how I feel -- whether a run is mundane or whether it makes me feel enlivened by my attitude and willingness. When I feel that it is just me out there running, going through the motions then the run is usually just "okay". However, when I invite Jesus along the dynamics change exponentially. For one thing, I can't help but grin when He is consciously with me. There is an inner peace and a conversation that is usually going on. A good part of the time it is just me talking to Him in the spirit of my mind. But then there are those special moments when He interjects His loving words into my heart. Oftentimes, He teaches me in metaphor. Every week in The Bare Soul I try to share some of this "fresh manna" that He drops into my heart. They are splendid truths for me and I try to make them relevant life lessons as I share them with you.

Probably the greatest metaphor of Christ and His church in scripture is the Song of Solomon. While on the surface one might look at it only as a wedding song of Solomon to his bride, it is clearly much more. In the case of the bride speaking to the bridegroom in this wonderful passage, she seeks Him out and adjures Him to draw her after Him as they run in love and passion. The scripture is definite in that it mentions where they are running - to the king's chambers! This place of intimacy is where Jesus will always be seeking to bring us, as He pulls us along in love-clasped hands.

Many of us know and remember the passion of our heart-throb and how it did not matter what we were doing as long as we were together. Mine continues even to this day. My wife and I have "date night" every Saturday night that we are both in town. This entails, 99% of the time, dinner and a movie. Most of the time we enjoy both the dinner and the movie. Sometimes, one or the other is not quite what we expected, but it was still a great date night because we got to spend the evening together. I think about a story I heard about an older couple that spent the entire evening reading their respective books in the same small living room. At the end of the evening when it was time to turn in the wife turned to her husband and said, "Hasn't this been a wonderful evening together?" They had not said but few words to one another the entire time, but merely being with one another provided a feeling of love and wholeness for them both. This type of living and loving does not happen overnight. It started with the passion of pursuing one another until they knew that their respective passions were captured in their lover's heart, mind, and soul. They were secure in their love and the pursuit had turned into joyous, loving captivity!

Running is one of my life's passions. However, my foremost passion is Jesus and how I might please Him. It is wonderful, as I already stated, when I seek out Jesus to run with me. The question to myself and to all who read this is: Do I passionately pursue him to be involved in all areas of my life? Speaking of running, is He "running my life" or am I selfishly content to allow other passions and loves to be nestled around my own ambition devoid of any invitation to Him who saved my soul? Every time I invite Jesus to be intimately involved in my life, he accepts my invitation and draws me after Him into that place of deeper intimacy through my obedience. Often, it is He who first makes the offer and my acceptance is contingent on my place of obedience, or rather how ready I am to turn to Him with complete adoration and follow.

It doesn't take long to see those who have truly given themselves to Christ in this way. Our love-sickness will be evident as we show this world that there is a God of love that desires and yearns for them.  As we allow ourselves to be drawn into passionate pursuit and ultimate capture by our Lord, this relationship will hopefully compel those around us to want to run in newness of life with the Risen Lord. There truly is an intimate life to be lived with the Living Lord. (It should be our passion to live it and give it to others.) We must merely put out our hand and invite Him to draw us into that intimate place of eternal love and happiness. It is as easy as reaching out and taking His blessed hand!

Your barefoot servant,

Barefoot Rick

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